Hector waited for nightfall to cross the portal. He was always concerned about the possibility of leaving Orpheus where he had been mediator for more than four centuries. Sporting a large stature, he called attention with his clear skin and his hair formed by blond curls.
Alex was a good leader, imposing and majestic, but after the revolt that shook the planet Orpheus few years ago, he had changed. He lived in suspicion and persecution. He acted inconsistently asking numerous favors from Hector. In the last decade, the Guardians being sent to Earth had declined significantly. The leader was acting negligently and the people wanted to take drastic action.
Everyone knew that Alex could never overcome the death of his beloved wife, his precious and irreplaceable Sofia. This fatality had occurred many years ago, however, he never managed to move on. It was difficult for a Guardian to overcome the loss of a great love.
There were only two portals in Orpheus, and one was located within the premises of the Kingdom. Hector decided to cross the most reserved portal which stood near a beautiful forest facing an immense and refreshing waterfall, where animals bathed and where birds ﬂew to the outskirts. The sun was shining in a clear blue sky filled with sparse clouds that graced a number of ways, the infinite horizon. The weather remained cool and pleasant. Orpheus was composed of a rich and abundant nature, with a grand ocean and several creeks that served as housing for many aquatic species. Its forests, parks, and woods were immeasurable. Wild and exotic animal and plant species inhabited the region. It was a perfect planet where the wizards and Guardians lived in complete peace, leading and training new warriors for the purpose of protecting the planet Earth, following orders, and doing the will of God. These Magi who lived in Orpheus trained some Guardians to improve their skills in white magic to contribute to and to support the warriors’ weapons, making them more resilient and powerful. Although the Guardians possessed supernatural powers, they also needed to manipulate magic to stay strong and protected. Moreover, it was necessary that they could use their mystical weapons. The demons were wicked and treacherous, and used dark magic to hurt and kill the Guardians.
However, there were times when ambitious wizards became obsessed and used magic to improve themselves in a way that, instead of turning it into light, they changed it with a great magnitude and also converted it to obscure magic. They felt that they could get stronger by expanding their powers and that by having this great magical inﬂuence, they could eradicate the enemy. The powerful sorcerer who started these great acts of blasphemy was also responsible for passing this knowledge on a large scale to a vast generation of apprentices. He was convicted and is now in exile on the planet Calistun.
Among the subjects were Guardians who were chosen to work only in Orpheus. They were not trained and sent to Earth and simply served and collaborated with the maintenance of the planet. They lived in premises being protected by the regents and representatives of the Kingdom. This planet was not equipped with great technologies and endless paraphernalia which then led to large defects and disputes in power. On the other hand, it was a beautiful world free from pests and diseases which gave the subjects sustenance and tranquility. The feeling of peace and freedom conveyed throughout Orpheus It had no comparison to anything that Hector had already seen in his nearly four centuries of life.
At the entrance of the premises where the rulers and Guardians resided, Hector gulped when climbing the steps leading to the meeting room where some elders were waiting. The room was huge and was wide and comfortable. It had a style free of modernities. A table was assembled with fruits, bread, and spices while a subject served them cups of wine. Hector had arrived just in time for dinner.
“What an honor to receive our dear mediator of Alcantes!” said a tall man with a thin beard. He was a Guardian.
“Good evening, Thaddeus! Thanks for having me,” said Hector. Two Guardians who were sitting at the table stood up to greet the mediator.
“Long time, no appear. Did you miss me?” said a playful, light- haired Guardian.
“Do not be so modest, Augusto!” Hector shook his hand, smiling.
“I’m glad you came, Hector! I am very curious to know the reason for this unexpected visit.” Igor, a stocky commander with brown hair and green eyes reached out for a handshake. “Do you need more Ambrosia?”
“Also. ” he returned the greeting. “There is another reason that brought me to you. It is a more serious and alarming case.”
Alex, who had not said anything, rose from the table and asked, “Sit down, my old friend. Tell us what brings you here in a hurry.” The conductor who led a Guardian congregation narrowed his eyes, rested an elbow on the table, and held his face in his hand. He asked the mediator, “Have you discovered or found something unusual?”
Sitting and unbuttoning his suit, Hector looked seriously at the conductor and clarified, “My lord, there was an attack on one of our congregations in Alcantes.” Making it more suspenseful, he continued, “There were no common creatures and demons.”
Alex looked scared. “Then who did it? The humans who belong to sects? Former Guardian deserters?” Alex asked impatiently. “We know that lately, the number of Guardians that are angry and dissatisfied is growing everyday.”
Hector shook his head and grabbed a glass of wine. “You will not believe it. It is much worse and extremely revolting. After all these years, the Guardians of Darkness have attacked again.” Launching an intriguing look at the conductor, he added, “During the day.”
Alex immediately remembered his brother. It was the first thought that crossed his mind. “Your brother was not among them. I even saw the bodies.” Hector said, guessing Alex’s anguish.
To be of divine nature, the Guardians of Darkness, unlike the demonic creatures, don´t converted into mist when they died. When Hector came to Congregation of Mark for a quick conference before making the crossing to Orpheus, they had not burned the bodies that were on the ﬂoor. They were covered only by a blanket so that the mediator could identify them.
“Do you know what they want? Why after so many years have they decided to come out of the darkness and attack?” Igor asked the mediator anxiously.
“No. No one could get any answers yet,” Hector replied.
Alex remained in shock. What would be the reason they would have aroused the fury of these fearsome Guardians of Darkness? Certainly, his superiors would not like any of that kind of invasion on Earth.
Taking a sip of his wine, Hector explained, “It was all very strange. In the same week, I learned of another bizarre event. First, the family of a girl is murdered right under our noses by winged creatures. The demons were able to cross using the portal but were not detected, as if they were camouﬂaged or protected by some spell.” He put the cup on the table and wiped his mouth running his tongue over his lips. “The Guardians were able to save the girl, unlike her parents. When they arrived at the scene, the poor bastards had been shattered.”
Upon hearing the story, Alex and Igor looked at each other.
“If that was not strange enough, Julio told me that this girl has been a victim of these creatures ever since she was a baby.” He stared at the leader. “She has avoided the demons for years. However, the creatures have always managed to locate her whereabouts and killing her adoptive families.” Hector threw a questioning look at all who were sitting at the table and said, “Will you not ask me what the strangest thing of all is?” He stared at the Guardians. “The girl does not have a human aura, and there is an enchantment about her that makes her impossible to be seen by the demons. I have really never heard of a case like this!” He laughed blandly and continued, “And now this The Guardians of Darkness are after the same girl.”
“Did you see the girl?” Alex asked, intrigued.
Hector shook his head. “When I talked to Mark, she wasn’t there,” he said.
The leader, still shocked, asked the mediator, “Tell me more about this girl. Is she still in Mark’s congregation?”
“Yes, they are protecting her,” Hector replied.
Alex, who was still deep in thought, tensed his jaw and said, “I think Igor can accompany you to Earth. We need to know more about her. I want to find out what the real interest of the creatures of darkness is towards this girl.” He looked at the commander. “Igor may well be useful if the creatures or the Guardians of Darkness return for the claim.
“The claim?” Hector asked, confused.
“Well, she may be associated with darkness. Was not it you who said that she does not have a human aura?” Alex said.
Hector answered, “I would not be so sure of that, my lord. The girl is altogether lovely. She even risked her life helping to destroy the demons who tried to kill our Guardians.”
“How did she do?” Alex was intrigued. “To exterminate a Guardian of Darkness, it is necessary that the executor has at least some sort of power.”
“No. Not that I know. The girl helped our Guardians by distracting the demons and providing first aid. It was she who called Julio warning of the attack,” Hector said.
“Hector, I understand. She is a helpful and brave girl. I would love to meet her in person but you know there are rules and we cannot break them.”
Hector shook his head in denial. He said, “It would not be so bad. After all, your visit to the planet would only be based on a matter of investigation. You would not be committing any blasphemy against the Kingdom.”
“My dear mediator,” Alex threw his friend a sad smile. “I would like everyone to think exactly like you. However, it is not how it works. After the revolt and all the consequences caused by Orpheus that time, I’m simply not allowed to step on planet Earth.”
Hector patted his back and told the conductor. “All right. I’ll take Igor with me and will keep you informed of all events. You can follow our progress and findings from here. I’ll be sure not to miss out any information about the investigation.”